MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Commentary Roundup

September 30th, 2004 Viewed 1014 times

Security Moms

Jane Chastain details the thoughts of a “security mom” of the 2004 election. These are the women of this election who are more concerned about the safety of themseleves and their families than anything else.  We have a whole new dynamic out there since the Soccer moms from 2000.  Things are not the same since 9/11, and 9/11 is still on people’s minds.

Younger Voters

Ben Shapiro writes about his generation and how they will vote– what’s important to them.  His point is roughly the same as Jane’s from above.  Bush is cleaning Kerry’s clock when it comes to the ability to defend this country.  Though the younger generation are all over the board when it comes to morals, they are more willing to try inventive ideas– such as personal account for social security– than other age groups.

I saw this first hand the other night in a meeting while looking for a new pastor.  The group wondered if we should not provide health insurance for the new pastor, and just rely on the government’s alternative.  When I brought up my objection to relying on the government– the same old argument was trotted out: but they’re giving it for free!  It then went into this whole discussion of stewardship of God’s money.  Like God can’t provide health insurance if needed!  The kicker was when an older guy at the meeting said that he once thought my way, but as you get older, you get more practical.

Mission Accomplished

Michael Regan talks about the President’s fly in to the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln.  The mission of that great ship, and the toppling of Saddam’s regime was accomplished– no matter how many times CBS Radio News says “and 4000 troops have been killed since President Bush flew to the aircraft carrier to announce Mission Accomplished.”  This is– tongue and cheek– not biased, just hard news facts.

Genocide

Nat Hentoff has a piece about genocide is Sudan.  This is some scary and serious stuff.  Why we can let this happen when we have all the questions about why we let the holocaust continue…

Saving Babies

And on a happy note, Matt Abbott shares a couple of stories here about saving babies lives on the streets outside abortion clinics. 

Where is Your Treasure?

September 29th, 2004 Viewed 871 times

Slipping through the narrow street, the young man scampered over the things in the alleyway until he reached an old, broken-down shack that lie at the end. He carefully walked up, turned around to see if anyone had followed, and then opened the creaky old door. It squeaked as it opened, and he looked to see if anyone had heard. No one was there. Not a sound. He carefully walked into the shack, and closed the door slightly behind.

A cat jumped off it’s perch, and nearly scared the boy to death as he swerved away from it. Panting, he held his hand to his chest, feeling his heart pounding inside. A few minutes later and the boy caught his breath and continued inside. Like he was the builder of the shack, he made his way to the back and to an old trunk. Being careful that no one was watching, he lifted the latch and lifted the lid. A smile warmed over his face as he gazed at the trunk’s contents. Inside, laying in a bed of sawdust, was a rock. Not just any rock, but the most precious treasure to this young man for in the corner of the rock shined a sparkling gem, of which he was sure was the prettiest diamond he’d ever seen. He dared not tell anyone about it, for they would surely want his gem.

After a little while gazing at his treasure, he closed the lid, put back the latch, and walked back outside, once again making sure that no one had seen or heard a thing, for no one must have his treasure.

Back at his house, his family all gathered around the table for dinner. The father, a farmer by trade from many generations of farmers, sat at the head of the table, as the mother, arms resting on the counter, seemed like she was going to break into tears. “I don’t understand it Charles,” his mother said.

“It’s just that way, May. This has been a bad season, and old Joe Crane down at the bank said that if we didn’t get the money for the latest loan I took out for the feed, that they were going to come out and have to take some of the livestock or something of value from the farm. I can’t think of what we can give him,” replied the father.

But Dad,” the boy said, “If you sell your animals won’t that make it harder for you to make money to pay it off?”

“It would, son, but I don’t see any other choice.” The son had never disclosed any information about his treasure. Any time he was asked about it, the response was that he was off doing something personal or doing something that he thought was fun. No one ever pressed him to find out what took so much of his time, and he never volunteered that information.

It was about a month later, the father had sold some of the livestock, and the family was still in financial trouble. To make matters worse, his little sister caught a dreadful disease, and the father was forced to sell some more of the animals to
cover the fee of the doctor. “It’s all I have, do you understand that?” The father told the banker. “I have nothing but the farm left.”

“I’m sorry, sir. I just cannot give you a loan. You have no collateral or any previous credit rating. I’m afraid that there is nothing that I can do for you.” Disappointed and disheartened, the father turned around and headed for the door. He
walked out, and back to the house.

That day, the boy visited his treasure again, thinking of how he would never have to face the problems that his dad was facing. A twinge of guilt sprung up inside him as he viewed the gem. Maybe I should let my father know about the gem, he thought. He felt for his sister, and knew how the family was in trouble, yet, at the same time, wondered if the gem were enough or whether his treasure would be worth anything. Even if it was, his dad would probably never listen to him tell of a diamond he had– he would think it was a dream or that he was just a child.

Another month passes. The farm has been sold to a wealthy city man.  The family is allowed to stay on it, with pay, out of the rich man’s generosity. The daughter is getting better, though still not out of the hospital. The rent on the place is coming due, and the young boy decides to tell his father about the treasure.

“Dad. I need to tell you something.”

“Not now, son. I’m kinda busy.”

“But Dad, it is important.”

“So is what I am doing.”

“But Dad–”

“No buts. Now, run along and check to see if your mother has anything for you to do.” The boy hangs his head and walks away. After he is done helping his mother, he walks back to his treasure, takes it out of the box, and works his way to a jeweler. “Let’s see what you have here, son.” The man said. He eyed the rock and the gem in the top. “It’s a diamond all right, but let’s see just how big it is.” The jeweler carried the rock into the back, where he had a hammer and chisel. Carefully, the jeweler banged at the rock to reveal a whole lot bigger diamond than he had ever imagined.

“I’m sorry son, but I don’t have enough money to pay for this diamond. There is a jeweler in the city that could buy it from you.” He gave the young man the address, and with that, the young man headed out to his farm house with the diamond in a bag for safe keeping. But, it was too late. His father had already taken matters into his own hands and had stolen from the city man and was thrown into prison. His mother, desperate for money or work, had left the house to who knows where.

So, the young man went to his sister, showing her the diamond, and telling her all about how an old man had showed him the trunk and gave him the diamond– a real treasure to him. And how he kept it, and never thought that it was as big as it really was, and how much it was worth. How he thought that no one would believe him, and so, he kept it hidden. The sister, tears in her eyes, asked, “But why? Why didn’t you tell us sooner? Why did you wait all this time to share with us
something so valuable?”

“I don’t know.”


Christian, your salvation, your very life from God, is a treasure given to you freely from Christ Jesus Himself. Precious beyond measure was the blood that was shed for you. He gave His life, and commands us to go share the message, give the witness, spread the faith! Why is it that this most precious treasure, far greater than anything we could ever imagine, lies locked up inside ourselves or in our churches. Why isn’t it everywhere– on our tongue continuously?

Continuing the Court Discussion

September 27th, 2004 Viewed 1367 times

Strangecloud posed a very interesting dilemma to my idea in the last post.  His point was that Judicial Review was put into place as part of checks and balances in the government.  If I remember my history
correctly, Judicial Review was actually a creation of a certain Supreme Court (I want to say Marshall, but I may be mistaken).  In fact, even at the time it was quite controversial.

There is a movement inside congress to restrict judicial review over topics such as homosexuality and school prayer.  The problem is that the judiciary has become all powerful, casting rulings on controversial issues that should be decided by the country’s populace and not the “enlightened” thinkers on the bench.

The part that even gets me more riled up is the fact that when the citizens do speak through their representatives about issues such as abortion and school prayer, these same justices have the audacity to say that their ruling trumps the clear reading and the people’s wishes.

My point is that since it seems impossible to keep these justices in check via legislation and since people put so much weight on how a justice will rule on moral issues (not issues of Constitutional understanding), that we need to take away or scale back that power.

CBS and the Courts

September 24th, 2004 Viewed 1266 times

I have a solution for the whole Dan Rather crisis.  I think that CBS should get a new line at the beginning of 60 Minutes.  “One of these stories is false, can you guess which one?”  Then at the end they could tell you which one.  That way, people could be skeptical, trying to guess which one the whole time.  Maybe they could tie it in with the CBSNews.com website so that you could put in your guess.  If they would make it so you could win CBS gear or something maybe the brand could be healed.

There’s a story in the news about some legislation that is going nowhere, but has a lot of potential.  The legislation is the bill to protect the pledge of allegience from judicial review.  The democrats are screaming that

  1. It’s a moral issue that they have to go on the record about before an election.
  2. That it hurts judicial review which we’ve had for 200 years

I think the second one is more interesting.  If we were to start eroding the court’s power to review legislation (particularly on abortion, homosexuality, Christianity, etc.) then the left could not legislate from the bench.  That would make the court appointees less of an issue, and maybe we could fill the benches back up with judges instead of all of this filibustering.

To clarify, the Democrats are filibustering because of how important those positions are– because we have a judicial system who thinks that we like in an  oligarchy instead of a democratic-republic.  Take away their importance in making these unpopular decisions and voila, the filibuster could disappear too.

Voting on Election Day

September 23rd, 2004 Viewed 1273 times

Bert Prelutsky has an article today about voting— something I’ve been thinking around for a while.  The Founders definitely wanted people with a stake in the game to be voting.  Now we’ve come so far as to herd people like cattle to the polling place telling them to vote for our guy.  My feeling when I hear about all this busing and other means to get people to the polling places is, if it’s important to them why aren’t they finding a way to get there?

Now, before you call me a meanie, I’m not saying that people with disabilities or the inability to travel shouldn’t have a means provided for them should they so desire– maybe an internet sign up page or something.  What I am against is this– “I’m coming by to fill this bus to bring people who wouldn’t have voted otherwise to the polls because I know they know nothing but that they will vote for the guy with the D or the R next to their name.”

What Truly Matters

September 22nd, 2004 Viewed 850 times

The story is told of a time, long ago, when two young farm boys, each helping their father, saw the King’s royal procession coming walking by for the first time. The lads, both younger than twelve, stood and peered through the fence as the knights on horseback were followed by footmen, and the train seem to go on forever until, near the center, a lavishly decorated coach came by. Around it walked heavily armored guards, in all their splendor with their big swords and shields at their sides.

“When I grow up, I want to be just like one of them,” Jacob said. Acting out each part, he continued, “I could fight of the evil black knight, rescue the fair damsel, and be king of the mountain!” Losing his balance, he tumbled down the small pile of dirt that he had mounted.

“Some knight you’d be,” his friend, Lance snickered. “I think you’ve heard too many stories. My dad says that there is no damsel, or anything like that, and all these knight guys get to do is stand around and sweat, and then they end up dying for some guy they never see, unless they get some reward for being injured or something.”

“Oh yeah? Well, my dad has told me stories of valiant knights, and glorious battles, and–”

“And that’s all they are, stories,” Lance finished. As they were going back and forth, Lance’s mother called him home, and the discussion ceased.

Many years later, there was a war in the land. A king from many miles away had attacked a weak position in the outskirts of the kingdom. Many brave souls fought hard and long, and
as such, new people were called in to serve their king and kingdom. Among them, two men, who long ago had formed their opinions of service for the king.

“I can’t believe this! I have a farm to work, a wife to take care of– I don’t have time to be off fighting battles,” an older Lance complains to a group of men called into service.

“But it is our duty, our service to one that has guided and protected all of us for so long. It is the least that we can do,” replied a voice in the shadow. Getting up, it was Jacob. “I would most gladly give my life for the king.”

“For what? A medal? A pat on the back?” Lance questioned.

“Yeah, I mean, he never comes by my house!” Another states.

“And where is he now? Not even here to help us in training, he’s off somewhere guarded and protected!” Still another replied. “While we’re dying on his battlefield, he’s drinking wine in his castle.”

“And none of us will be able to enjoy anything if the enemy makes us his slaves,” replied Jacob.

“You know, he’s right,” another one voiced, “We at least have to try.”

“Not I. I’m only here because I have to be,” finished Lance. The conversation ended, as training picked up again.

Days passed before they were ready, and when they were, they were suited and armored and ready for battle. They each got a horse and road out to the place that they had last heard of the enemy being, and found their own camp. Settling down that night, they awaited what would happen the next day.

It came bright and early, and with it the enemy. It was too late to mount horses, for there was a sneak attack. The men that had come to fight only because they had to ran, and were chased down by horses. Lance fell at the sword of the leader, as he was making what he thought was an unobserved getaway. The man who realized his duty fell fighting many men on foot, and took many with him. And Jacob, as he was fighting, took many of the enemies, and fought valiantly.

More of the kings men came in behind, and overtook the enemy which was defeated. Jacob, wounded and mangled, was taken back to see his king before passing on into eternity himself. As the king looked into the eyes of the man that willingly gave of his life to him, Jacob smiled, knowing that he had done his best, and had served with all of his heart.

A question for you, Christian. Which category of knights do you fall into? Are you the kind that’s there because it’s a free ticket to heaven– to escape eternal destruction? Are you the kind that has to be convinced of its benefits for you individually, that it makes sense to you before you serve? Or, are you the kind that is out there trying to please the King with all of your heart, soul, and mind and wanting to give your all at His feet just for a simple “Well done, good and faithful servant?” What is your primary motivation? What is it that really counts in your life? Where is your focus, love and adoration?

John Kerry and the Lack of Oxygen

September 21st, 2004 Viewed 1249 times

I remember back in the good ole days of Sierra computer games that there were a lot of creative software titles as well as creative fake titles in games.  My favorite series was the Space Quest Series which
followed the path of a man who started out as a janitor but ended up the hero every time– Roger Wilco.  Oh for games that simple and fun to play.

John Kerry is having a lot of trouble.  Yesterday, I don’t know how many times Rush Limbaugh said it on his program, but he said that Kerry hit a single erased by Rather’s double play.  Rush’s comments were that Kerry finally has a good speech, but with the announcement coming out of CBS, everything is turned toward that direction with that focus.

Dick Morris states that  [Kerry] is playing a simple game of checkers, while President Bush is playing a subtle game of chess.  Kerry, Morris says, is spending too much time playing to his base, and instead of having a strategist, he has tacticians.  Bush has taken a line on Iraq where Kerry hasn’t figured out who to be yet.  On the domestic front, all of the issues are being addressed or getting better due to policies Bush already has in place.

Finally, Dennis Prager has some interesting insights into what makes the right and left interpret something as right and wrong.  To the left, he says, “rightness” is determined by law, whereas those on the right view “rightness” by some higher moral code.  Maybe this can being to shed some light as to why those on the other side of the aisle think the way they do.

Within My Reach

September 17th, 2004 Viewed 1159 times

“Mommy, can I have this?” the cute little blonde girl asked her mother, who was busy talking to the clerk looking for directions. The little girl had grabbed a a doll off one of the shelves, and was showing it to her mother.

“No sweetheart,” came the reply. “Now come with me.” The mother had gotten the directions and grabbed her little daughter’s hand and walked to the next aisle, and started looking at products on the shelves.

The little girl, still enamored by the doll, looked back to see another little girl, and her mommy. As she watched, the girl started to point at that particular doll. The other girl’s mother, picked it up off the shelf and put it into her shopping cart. The other girl was all smiles, and jumped up and down for joy behind the mother.

The little girl turns back to her mother, “Mom, look.” She pulls on her mom’s hand and points at the other little girl.

“What did I say?” Her mom replied.

“No,” came the pitiful reply. “But–”

“No buts. You cannot have that doll.” The corners of the little girl’s mouth seemed like they would fall off their face and hit the ground. As her bottom lip came out, tears started to come into her eyes. The mother seemed oblivious.

The two continued on through the store, looking at different things, the little girl still wanting the doll, and the mother ignoring it.

They finally made it to the check out counter. There, in front of them a few customers was another little girl with the same doll. This was all that the little girl could take. “Mom–” she whined, pointing at the doll. “Why can all these other little girls have dolls and I can’t?”

The mother pulled the little girl out of line, and brought her over to a corner. “Listen to me. I told you know twice. Now that is enough. I don’t want to hear it come out of you again, you understand me?” The girl broke out into tears.

“Yes mom,” sniffed the girl, through her tears.

“Now, run out to the car, and sit there until I get there.” The little girl, tears trickling down her face, headed toward the door, and started outside. She avoided people, though a few asked what was wrong. She got out to the car, and sat there and cried for a little while.

Time passed, which seemed like forever, before her mom came out. She had finished her crying, though her eyes were still red, and her sleeves a little wet. They silently rode all the way home, and the little girl went to her room. Once she got there, she found a doll sitting on her bed. The silence broke, and her mom was standing in the door way. The girl turned around and looked at her mom, this time with tears of joy in her eyes and a smile on her face.

The Lord promises to provide all our needs, if we will just wait upon Him in His Way, His Will and His Timing. Why do we rush Him? He has the best plan. Why settle for anything less than the best? Why try to guess the future now?

Taxes and Voting

September 16th, 2004 Viewed 1362 times

pay-taxes.jpgWalter E. Williams has an interesting article out today.

There seems to be a lot of seen and unseen gerrymandering going on. In the first place, instead of logical voting districts, representatives are able to carve out for themselves “safe seats” that will always lean one way. This clearly benefits incumbents and doesn’t allow multiple different people access to our government– something that should be encouraged, right? I think someone should encourage a law to be passed that defined voting districts in straight grid like lines. Sure, natural topography would make some districts small, but that would allow some excitement! I don’t know– there has to be a better solution out there than the crazy districts that are the norm now.

The second has more to do with William’s article. In it he talks about how a majority of Americans pay no taxes, and these are the ones with equal votes to those that have a direct stake in how much money is taken out of their paychecks. This puts people who get money from the government directly opposed to people who lose money to the government– a guaranteed class warfare struggle. Again, I’m standing with the Fair Tax. I think that if that was implemented, we’d see some change in voting patterns too!

Firefox

September 16th, 2004 Viewed 1169 times

I’ve joined up as part of the campaign to get people to download and try Mozilla’s Firefox browser.  I’ve been using it pretty much exclusively for months now, and it’s finally in it’s 1.00 Preview release form.  I think if you tried it that you’d find it much more friendly and extendable than IE or Netscape.

Better than IE:

  • Popup blocker built in
  • Has it’s own RSS reader built in.
  • Ad Block Plug in removes flash and any banner ads from your web page for faster browsing
  • Not integrated into the OS
  • No ActiveX
  • Does not have confusing Zones to be exploited by hackers
  • Tabbed Browsing with the mouse wheel click.

Better than Netscape:

  • Only a browser (has separate mail program)
  • No Netscape branding
  • Faster page rendering

So, if you haven’t tried Firefox, or you’ve tried an early version, please give it a shot and see what you think.  You won’t be sorry you did!  Just click on the image below

Get Firefox!

Now that this ad is over, we resume our regular blogging.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.